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~~~~Something My Father Said A Thousand Times To Me~~~~

~~It Didn't Sink In Until Someone Died~~

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Old 07-02-2020, 10:11 PM   #1
David Miller
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Wink ~~~~Something My Father Said A Thousand Times To Me~~~~

Since things are kind of quiet around here lately, I started reading through my life's journal. I have kept one since age 10. Man! my handwriting was as bad then as it is now! I should have been a doctor.


I ran across a section that covered a couple of days of my life back in the late 1960's when I was a teenager. In the left hand margin, I wrote, " You're not learning any younger! " It was in quotation marks, so it caught my attention as I flipped through the pages. So, I started reading my words.



Wow! Did this bring back memories! So, I wrote it out into nice story in paragraphs. I think you will like what a 15 year old had on his mind 51 years ago! Did I say that? 51 years ago? My God!.......here goes....


" You're not learning any younger! " is what my father said to me countless times these past few years. I used to say to him, " Yes sir! " But, I really didn't understand what he meant by those words, " You're not learning any younger! " I always agreed with him because I didn't want to seem like a dummy in his eyes.


Then one day, as my father and I were watching TV together, we saw a speech being delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. My father liked the way Dr. King presented himself and liked what he said when he tried to convey his message to the masses.


My father was a teacher by profession and, I have to say this, we were white. Dr. King had many white followers, contrary to certain beliefs. So, we watched and listened to the entire speech, then, my father looked over to me and said, " Understand that man's message now, because you're not learning any younger! "


There were those words again. I have heard them a thousand times! I was 15 years old and I decided, even though I was ashamed out of my wits to ask my father what he actually meant by the words, " You're not learning any younger! " He looked at me and told me that every single day, every single nuance that I have experienced, and all the information I have been subjected to so far in my life, that I will never be able to experience that moment of discovery again! Once the opportunity has passed to learn something, then it's history. So, learn now because you will never be the age you are now, again.


( We talked a while about what he said. He was good at getting me motivated to do better. I was making " C " to " B " grades in school and my father always said I could do much better. This was the time in my life that I started getting better grades. my last 2 years in high school, I made straight A's in everything but math! )


We continued our little talk while Dr. King finished his speech. My father said, and I remember this vividly, " Do you know why we are watching this speech? It is because Dr. Martin Luther King has just been assassinated and all the hopes and dreams may die with him! ".....!


I had been playing outside and when I came in, my father had asked me to sit and watch that speech with him. I did not know that one of my hero's, Dr. Martin Luther King Sr., had been viciously murdered in such a cowardly way!


When he told me that Dr. King had died, I got tears in my eyes and as I went to my room, I took one look back at my father, who was sunken way down in his recliner. He had tears in his eyes...


I had never seen my tough, West Virginian mountain man father break down and cry before! God! I felt bad!
" You're not learning any younger, " was my father's message. From then on, I started to become a man. I took pride in my schoolwork. I started to care about the poor and uneducated. I decided to never, ever make an enemy in my life!


I lost that great man in 2005. He was 80 years old and one night, in his sleep, God took him into the rock of ages. He wrote a note to my mother before he went to bed. I have that note now because they are both in Heaven. He wrote, " I love you! I had a good evening. I ate a bowl of grapes and they were so good. I didn't make a mess. See you in the morning. Wake me up so I can see Price Is Right. Love, Jerry ."


They were married 56 years. He was my gentle giant of a father. I miss my buddy.


David












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Old 07-03-2020, 10:23 AM   #2
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David, that was a lovely tribute to your father. He sounded like a fine man with a big heart. I’m sure you do miss him.



I love about you deciding to make no man your enemy. What a better world it would be if we all made that decision. It reminds me of that old saying, “It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It matters what you are doing.”

Last edited by Anya; 07-10-2020 at 09:55 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:09 PM   #3
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I have to hand it to you, Dave. You had a very good upbringing.
Great that you kept your journals in growing up. I started then stopped with a diary after reading it one year later. Looking back made me cringe - - - - My issues were so trivial.

Making no one an enemy is in life is commendable and noble attitude. Circumstances in Life can put your beliefs to the test. It's not a sin to have anger----but what is justified?
I have no ill will to anyone, but feel hurt and disappointed with them.
Blessings to you and your family.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:39 PM   #4
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I have to hand it to you, Dave. You had a very good upbringing.
Great that you kept your journals in growing up. I started then stopped with a diary after reading it one year later. Looking back made me cringe - - - - My issues were so trivial.

Making no at a place called Turtle Creek. one an enemy is in life is commendable and noble attitude. Circumstances in Life can put your beliefs to the test. It's not a sin to have anger----but what is justified?
I have no ill will to anyone, but feel hurt and disappointed with them.
Blessings to you and your family.

When I went fishing with my father, he would constantly talk about world history with a Humanities point of view. He had a knack of telling/relating why the world was the way it was when mankind was involved. I remember vividly the time we lived in West Virginia and he took me to his favorite fishing spot. I was 8 years old.



He said, " Just think. Look at the flat rock you are standing on right now while trying to catch a fish. "


I said something like, " Yeah? "



He said, " I will bet you a Mohican Indian father stood where I am and his son stood right on your rock while they fished together."


My eyes got wider and my mouth dropped open as I looked down at my feet.



" Really? " I said.


He continued, " And I bet he told his son all about the world, just like I am doing for you! "


This is a strong memory that I have carried in me for 58 years!


My father always surprised me. I always kept bugging him to let me take a puff of his cigar while we were out hunting or fishing. This was the only time he smoked. He finally sat me down, took out a new cigar and cut it in half. He then lit it and said, " If you take one puff, then you will have to smoke the whole thing...no backing down!"
I agreed! I finally get to smoke like dad ! ( I was 10 years old).


After he lit it, he gave it to me and smiled. I took it in my mouth and kind of inhaled....I started coughing.



He said, " Go on! The whole thing! " He made me smoke most of it and I was soooo sick! I pleaded with him to let me off the hook. He refused.


We still had 2 miles to walk to get to our car. I was vomiting here and there! I have never smoked anything since that day!!!


My dad just smiled the whole time and boy! did he get it from mom!


Dave






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Old 07-10-2020, 08:04 AM   #5
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Give a person enough rope, I guess. Good story. Hope you never smoked from that experience.
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Old 07-10-2020, 01:36 PM   #6
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Give a person enough rope, I guess. Good story. Hope you never smoked from that experience.
I haven't smoked since that day. The smell of cigs and anything else smoked by humans reminds me of that horrible day that I bugged my father and he taught me a lesson.



When I was 9 years old, my father and I caught a lot of trout and took them home and cleaned them. My mother fried up all the fish and I ate and ate and ate until I couldn't eat anymore. It was sooo good! Then, about midnight, I got sick! Real sick. My poor mother stayed by my side next to the toilet. I emptied my stomach at least a dozen times. Boy, was I sick from the grease that my mother cooked the fish with.


I didn't eat any more fish for years after that. I couldn't stand the smell of fish, raw or cooked. Then, one day when I was 19 years old, I went through a drive through at McDonald's . I could smell the fillet of fish they cooked and it smelled okay, so I decided to try one. It was good! I have eaten fish ever since.


But it was 10 years of no fish eating!

It is funny how we can get exposed to something in excess and develop a dislike for it.


Dave
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